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Preview: Grizzlies vs. Pistons

The Grizzlies take on the Detroit Pistons tonight in the first game of a back-to-back that sees them playing the Spurs in San Antonio tomorrow night. Here's what to watch for.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
2012/2013 NBA Regular Season

November 30, 2012, 7:00 PM
Probable Starters
Mike Conley PG Kyle Singler
Tony Allen SG Tayshaun Prince
Rudy Gay SF Brandon Knight
Zach Randolph PF Jason Maxiell
Marc Gasol C Greg Monroe
Advanced Stats
90.8 (24th of 30) Pace 91.9 (27th of 30)
109.7 (4th of 30) ORtg 103.5 (17th of 30)
100.3 (3rd of 30) DRtg 106.0 (21st of 30)

Tonight, the Western Conference-leading Grizzlies take on the 5–11 Detroit Pistons at FedEx Forum. The Pistons are on a little bit of a hot streak lately, winning two in a row and 5 out of their last 8 after starting the season 0–8.

This is going to be another case of handling business for the Grizzlies. The Pistons are clearly not as bad as their early record, but they’re not great, either, and the Grizzlies should be able to stick to their game plan and put away the Pistons before they head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs tomorrow night.

Presumably Lionel Hollins isn’t going to borrow from the Popovich playbook and rest the Grizzlies’ four leading scorers tonight. If he does, the Grizzlies are going to lose.

Zach Randolph has now had a double double in every game the Grizzlies have played except one — against Anderson Varejao and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Pistons have really young, but really good, big men in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. Z-Bo needs to teach them a lesson in not bluffing and have a big game inside. The way he’s racking up baskets and rebounds, it may not be tough. That said, the Grizzlies have tended to struggle against athletic rebounders, so the frontcourt matchups are definitely worth paying attention to.

The bench needs to bring it the way they did against Toronto, when Marreese Speights had 18–12 and allowed Z-Bo and Marc Gasol to play fewer minutes than they normally do. The Grizzlies play in San Antonio tomorrow night, a division matchup that is, ultimately, much more important than tonight’s homer against the Pistons. If the Grizzlies’ bench can lock this one up tonight, the team will be in better shape tomorrow night against the well-rested Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker.